That is exactly what the non-profit Institute of Ecolonomics has tried to prove with its sustainable business initiatives. The Institute promotes sustainable business practices in a myriad of ways, including but not limited to:
- Helping eco-friendly entrepreneurs start their careers with business development services, including both physical technology and creative ideas.
- Conducting research at its Northern Colorado Center for Ecolonomic Excellence and Development (CEED).
- Partnering with Nourish the Children on Nourish the Planet, an initiative to pioneer sustainable food-growing technology to help deal with the impact of a rising global population.
The company also uses its online platform to promote sustainable business initiatives and offer advice to environmentally conscious entrepreneurs. Its blog covers topics ranging from tips for growing one’s eco-friendly business to how to market small green business. This platform helps achieve the organization’s goals of educating business owners and fusing economics with ecology.
Dennis Weaver, mentioned previously as the origin of the term “ecolonomics,” cofounded the Institute with his wife Gerry in 1993. Though he was famous for his role on the 80s show Gunsmoke and McCloud, he was also passionate environmental advocate, as illustrated by his documentary chronicling the building of his “Earthship” – a solar-powered home built using recycled materials – on camera in 1989.
The Institute has continued Weaver’s work through its many environmental projects. Several of its key initiatives are explained in further detail below.
Community Shrimp Production
Partnering with Oceans Bounty Partners, LLC and Worldwide Aquature, LLC, the Institute of Ecolonomics operated a sustainable shrimp production site in Northern Colorado on a weekly basis for over three years. At present, the organization is working on developing many similar sites around the world.
Much like its community shrimp project, the Institute developed a 30,000 sq. ft. aquaponics facility to farm sustainable veggies and fish for the Northern Colorado community. For four years, the Institute operated this facility, modeling a successful aquaponics initiative that they are now working to translate around the world.
Feed in a Box
Feed in a Box is the Institute of Ecolonomics’ unique indoor hydroponics facility for the growth of microgreens and fodder. The goal of the facility – which was developed in partnership with Mountain Sky Alpacas and Mountain Sky Ranch – is to raise feed for a generation of sustainably-raised livestock.
Access and Collaborative Economy (ACE)
The Institute of Ecolonomics also owns and operates its own small ranch facility in Northern Colorado, where it demonstrates a successful model of an Access and Collaborative Economy (ACE) venture. On its 45 ft. campus, there are over 10 ongoing profit centers, including Raisin Roots Farm and Sara’s Pick of the Coop, a market farm and egg production facility respectively. The venture also offers dog training, a sandstone quarry, a natural fiber production business and more!